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Non-story (4, Insightful)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111344)

Ah, more submissions from Andy Smith. Just like last time it's completely off. TwitPic is not "planning to sell users' photos", it's just adding a clause in TOS that they have the right to them too. Just like YouTube and tons of other user content sites. In nowhere they state they plan to sell them, but Andy again twisted it like that.

You know what, if you intent to sell your photos yourself and have full copyright on them, what about not uploading them all around the internet and giving them right to use them?

Re:Non-story (2, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111412)

Ah, more submissions from Andy Smith. Just like last time it's completely off. TwitPic is not "planning to sell users' photos", it's just adding a clause in TOS that they have the right to them too. Just like YouTube and tons of other user content sites. In nowhere they state they plan to sell them, but Andy again twisted it like that.

The quote from Noah implies that's exactly what they plan to do:

As we’ve grown, Twitpic has been a tool for the spread of breaking news and events. Since then we’ve seen this content being taken without permission and misused. We’ve partnered with organizations to help us combat this and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate manner. This has been done to protect your content from organizations who have in the past taken content without permission. As recently as last month, a Twitpic user uploaded newsworthy images of an incident on a plane, and many commercial entities took the image from Twitpic and used it without the user’s permission.

While he didn't reveal the terms of the partnershipis, typically the We've partnered with... quote means that money has exchanged hands, so they are, in effect, selling your pictures.

Re:Non-story (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111484)

You're taking "We've partnered with [completely unknown] organizations" to mean "selling your content for cash?" You're going to have to explain the steps to get from A to B. This is total assumption and isn't newsworthy at all. Where's the evidence?

Re:Non-story (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111998)

The obvious joke, in classic Slashdot style, is:

1) Take legal possession of uploaded pictures
2) "Partner with organizations"
3) ????
4) PROFIT!

Re:Non-story (1)

SausageOfDoom (930370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112902)

The underpants gnomes stare at you in disgust.

Re:Non-story (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113164)

They're just jelly they didn't patent their "business process".

Re:Non-story (5, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112202)

"We've partnered with organizations to help us combat this and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate manner."

What plausible interpretation of this sentence can you give that doesn't involve selling content?

Re:Non-story (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113268)

How about consumer protection advocacy groups? The EFF? I don't know any off the top of my head. This is complete assumption. He's ignoring the fact that the statement points out that the users maintain full copyright ownership of their pictures. I think that stands for itself. Also note he said "...entities took the image from Twitpic and used it without the user's permission." He said "user's permission" for a reason.

Re:Non-story (2)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115864)

If they had partnered with the EFF he'd come out and say it. Not naming the organizations means that he isn't comfortable, or allowed, to tell users which organizations are involved. This reeks of shady dealings.

Re:Non-story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119806)

Or that, you know, the details haven't been all worked out and finalized...but let's not let logic get in the way of our rampant speculation.

Re:Non-story (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113400)

"We've partnered with organizations to help us combat this and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate manner."

What plausible interpretation of this sentence can you give that doesn't involve selling content?

The problem is how it's being framed. It's being framed as, "TwitPic is taking your shit, selling it, and fuck you."

The most plausible explanation (based solely on what I've read on Slashdot so far) is:

Right now, people are taking photos from TwitPic and using them however they want. TwitPic is partnering with a company to be the official method by which you can commercially use pictures from TwitPic. This certainly does involve money going to TwitPic (so, yes, they are selling your photos and not paying you, so the fact is true, but the way it's presented as a big "Fuck You" is not).

Anyway, the value to the TwitPic user is that their pictures are now no longer simply being grabbed by whoever, but have a more official means by which they can be used. This helps pay for TwitPic (a reasonable expectation), protects the user more than is protected now, and provides a more apparent legal means to combat people commercially using photos without attribution or permission.

So, it's better for all parties than it is now, but it's definitely a bit unfair if you intend to sell your photos, but then again, if you were intending to sell them, throwing them up on TwitPic for free seems a bit idiotic in the first place. If the idea of TwitPic making money off of the photos you voluntarily put onto their site bothers you, don't put them there. However, it does bring up an issue of hypocrisy. After all, if TwitPic doesn't have the right to make money from your use of their site, what right do you think you have to use their site for free in the first place? You don't inherently deserve something for nothing. Their new terms seem fairly reasonable, benefit everyone involved, and are completely voluntary. It's hard to see a problem.

So, as a fact, the headline is correct. But the way it's being presented is absurd.

Re:Non-story (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114506)

The problem is how it's being framed. It's being framed as, "TwitPic is taking your shit, selling it, and fuck you."

The most plausible explanation (based solely on what I've read on Slashdot so far) is:

Right now, people are taking photos from TwitPic and using them however they want. TwitPic is partnering with a company to be the official method by which you can commercially use pictures from TwitPic. This certainly does involve money going to TwitPic (so, yes, they are selling your photos and not paying you, so the fact is true, but the way it's presented as a big "Fuck You" is not).

I thought it was framed as "Twitpic is taking your shit, selling it", I didn't see a single fuck you in the article. The fuck you is implied.

If you post a picture and AP decides to run it without compensation, if you hold the copyright you can sue them for compensation. If TwitPic sold them the rights to the image for a 5 cents, there's nothing you can do about it.

Re:Non-story (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114770)

The problem is how it's being framed. It's being framed as, "TwitPic is taking your shit, selling it, and fuck you."

The most plausible explanation (based solely on what I've read on Slashdot so far) is:

Right now, people are taking photos from TwitPic and using them however they want. TwitPic is partnering with a company to be the official method by which you can commercially use pictures from TwitPic. This certainly does involve money going to TwitPic (so, yes, they are selling your photos and not paying you, so the fact is true, but the way it's presented as a big "Fuck You" is not).

I thought it was framed as "Twitpic is taking your shit, selling it", I didn't see a single fuck you in the article. The fuck you is implied.

If you post a picture and AP decides to run it without compensation, if you hold the copyright you can sue them for compensation. If TwitPic sold them the rights to the image for a 5 cents, there's nothing you can do about it.

Right now there's nothing you can reasonably do about it. If the AP were to use a photo of yours, do *you* think you'd go through the effort to sue them?

TwitPic has to have some amount of copyright granted to them or they can't even publish your works at all. At least this way they can do something that the vast majority of their users cannot do, and that is provide something other than a wild west approach to licensing the images. You still retain copyright and can sell them if you want.

It's reasonable to expect TwitPic to want to have some model to make money. Sites don't run on good wishes. If you don't like their terms, you are completely free to not use their service. It's not like they are stealing anything, it's entirely voluntary, and even if you don't think it's something you want to agree with, it's hard to argue that it's not fair.

Re:Non-story (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36117138)

Given how easy it is in the UK: Yes, I would - and more to the point, friends have already been through this with AP and others

NOrmally a letter detailing the offence, setting out compensation (higher than normal photo rates as it was taken without permission) and mentioning reserving the right to take the matter to small claims court means they settle immediately. Magistrates take an inordintately dim view of companies fucking about with members of the public, and so most companies settle.

Re:Non-story (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123434)

Given how easy it is in the UK: Yes, I would - and more to the point, friends have already been through this with AP and others

NOrmally a letter detailing the offence, setting out compensation (higher than normal photo rates as it was taken without permission) and mentioning reserving the right to take the matter to small claims court means they settle immediately. Magistrates take an inordintately dim view of companies fucking about with members of the public, and so most companies settle.

Then you're in the minority. Hooray for you. The simple solution is: don't use TwitPic.

Re:Non-story (2)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115996)

Amen to that, just to repeat parent : "..if you were intending to sell them, throwing them up on TwitPic for free seems a bit idiotic in the first place"

Re:Non-story (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113294)

Well, this is Slashdot after all, the land of ideology, fantasy, and paranoia. In a place like this, any sliver of a fact can easily be "proven" to be the result of nothing less than the most evil possible thing it could lead to.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (5, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112026)

One of the deals is with WENN to sell celebrities' pictures, specifically. However, the adjusted ToS does indeed essentially mean they can sell Joe Schmoe's pictures just as well.

This was my submission with a few more links:
http://slashdot.org/submission/1575674/TwitPic-to-start-selling-users-pictures [slashdot.org]

That said... one part of TwitPic dude's blog statement rings very true. A lot of media are simply taking pictures and videos off the interwebs - be that TwitPic and YouTube or quasistevesdomain.com - and publish them in newspapers, in magazine articles, broadcast them on TV, etc.

If you're lucky they'll add a source:TwitPic / source:YouTube (which of course mean absolutely nothing as it doesn't identify the user at all) / source:quasistevesdomain.com .

I say "if you're lucky", because if you catch media doing this and try to point out that you retain the copyrights to that picture (not so on TwitPic anymore, not so for ages on YouTube, but certainly so on quasistevesdomain.com ) and would like to talk about their licensing the picture appropriately... oh boy. Unless you already have a lawyer ready that can spell things out for them directly, you're going to hear from their legal department on how you should be *glad* they used your picture/video, how it can bring you exposure, and how you should leverage that exposure to gain business. Just how that business should be gained when the next media company is also just going to use your picture/video is not entirely clear.

But, then again, I suppose that is very much in line with music / movie downloaders telling artists that they should be happy that they're downloading because it helps spread the word. Or something.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36112382)

So you're basically saying copyright only works for big companies?

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112740)

I'm pretty sure I'm saying it tends not to work for either big company or Joe Schmoe at large.

People will download movies, complaints / lawsuits or not.

Companies will use user content, complaints / lawsuits or not.

Of course big companies do have an advantage over an individual Joe Schmoe. A legal team, or even legal representatives through organizations such as the MPAA, versus an individual is not very balanced when compared to an individual versus a media outlet which also has a legal team / legal representatives.

It is doable as an individual to exercise your rights, but it's often just not worth it.

Here's a good example of the arrogance you can be met with:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbaland_plagiarism_controversy#Court_proceedings [wikipedia.org]
Choice quote:

In case that the artist decides to pursue the matter further, it's on him to go to America and confront them with the local use of law. It will require a considerable amount of faith and, of course, money.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113390)

So what if some user of TwitPic posts some GettyImages file to twitpic, and then TwitPic tries to selll that to someone else, and they reuse it. Not every image on TwitPic is created by the person who uploads it. How is twitpic going to guarantee they don't get in a load of trouble for selling pics that they don't have the rights to sell?

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113568)

I'm guessing that's why they're partnering with WENN and limiting things to celebrity pictures, at least at this point in time as far as the public eye goes.

WENN have the infrastucture and know-how to handle image origins; at least when it comes to (potentially) notable (to some) subjects. Especially in the case of celebrities' pictures (pictures that celebrities upload, in case that was ambiguous), the celebrity in question - or their agent - can be contacted to verify the picture's origin.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (4, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112542)

Isn't this the exact argument that Slashdot usually uses when people talk about piracy? It's impossible to steal content, because the content producer still has their own content, and, by God, they should be happy that you're pirating their content, because now it's the dominant software or a popular song.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (2)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112884)

True in one sense (which still makes them hypocrites).

What is often heard defended here is the freedom to use any information that is free, for personal enjoyment or helping others. I don't think I have seen anyone argue that you can make money directly off other people's information (in itself). There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created - but neither is there a reason not to allow people to enjoy those good.

Enjoyment of art, science, knowledge and any information is, just like the information itself, a non-scarce good.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113574)

There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created

As long as the arrangement is voluntary, I see no reason why someone should *not* be allowed to make money off of someone else's work. In fact, that's pretty much the point of having money in the first place, as a way of facilitating the exchange of goods and services, including creative goods and services.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113872)

Because if we do not allow it, then everyone will just be able to get what they want. Non-scarce good. That someone could make money of it, if we allowed it, is an argument that can equally be applied for a patent on breathing, the right to use gravity and protection rackets.

We do not need an incentive system, for people to want music, literature and other art. People already want it, and charging for it will not make them want it more (except if you put a lowercase "i" in front of it too).

But I was actually just arguing that without an agreement, there is no reason to allow it. I am for a very, very thin copyright where this is more or less the only thing you are not allowed to do.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114734)

Because if we do not allow it, then everyone will just be able to get what they want. Non-scarce good. That someone could make money of it, if we allowed it, is an argument that can equally be applied for a patent on breathing, the right to use gravity and protection rackets.

Gravity and breathing aren't inventions or creative works.

We do not need an incentive system, for people to want music, literature and other art. People already want it, and charging for it will not make them want it more (except if you put a lowercase "i" in front of it too).

If someone wants to sell their art, I don't see why that should be a problem. It's their work, they should decide the terms it is shared with others. Do *you* work for free? Why should you force anyone else to? And it's a straw man to argue whether art requires an incentive system. It doesn't, but it definitely can and does benefit from one. For example, people will make movies, but they will not be able to make big budget films without the ability to make the money back, and pay everyone involved. Same goes for a lot of creative endeavors.

And there's also a lot of creative works that aren't pure art. For example, the design of the keyboard you typed your reply on. There's a certain amount of creativity involved in designing pretty much anything. Why shouldn't Logitech (for example) be able to make money selling the design of one of its employees?

But I was actually just arguing that without an agreement, there is no reason to allow it. I am for a very, very thin copyright where this is more or less the only thing you are not allowed to do.

That's not what you wrote, which is why I replied the way I did. You could have just started with this instead of defending something which you (I think) didn't exactly mean. I do agree that no one should be able to simply take other people's creative works and profit directly from them without some sort of legal framework. But even that has some sticky areas. For example, each building in a city is a creative work. Should I be unable to sell a photograph of a city without first getting permission from every architect (and everyone else involved in the creative side of the buildings)?

As for the legal framework with TwitPic, it's in the terms of service. No one is forced to agree to them, but voluntary usage of the web site is considered agreement to the terms. Otherwise, are you arguing that people should be able to use the site and completely ignore the terms its offered under? This isn't something absurd (like "if you use this site, you owe me one million dollars"). There's still a lot of uncertainty relating to terms of services and EULAs, etc., that have yet to be ironed out, but either way, this is something that the end user is ostensibly agreeing to, and it's a reasonable trade for usage of the site's services.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115424)

And it's a straw man to argue whether art requires an incentive system. It doesn't, but it definitely can and does benefit from one. For example, people will make movies, but they will not be able to make big budget films without the ability to make the money back, and pay everyone involved.

Well, let's see what such a benefit has brought us. Currently on theaters: Bridesmaids Jumping the Broom Something Borrowed Fast Five Prom Go For It! Scream 4 Rio Hobo With a Shotgun Too bad I didn't find Michael Bay's crap of the week. Still, I'd argue that the idea of ROI does not benefit art at all.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36116334)

---

Because if we do not allow it, then everyone will just be able to get what they want. Non-scarce good. That someone could make money of it, if we allowed it, is an argument that can equally be applied for a patent on breathing, the right to use gravity and protection rackets.

Gravity and breathing aren't inventions or creative works.

This is beside the point. I was arguing that just because a system of ownership (or other system of privileges) will enable someone to make money, this does not mean that system is a good idea. Allowing ownership over the concept of zero (which was indeed quite the invention) would halt all progress or allow one guy to own basically everything. Not a good idea, even though money can be made. This was my point, in the above section.

We do not need an incentive system, for people to want music, literature and other art. People already want it, and charging for it will not make them want it more (except if you put a lowercase "i" in front of it too).

If someone wants to sell their art, I don't see why that should be a problem. It's their work, they should decide the terms it is shared with others.

I respectfully disagree. They can of course sell it all they want, but if they want to control what I and others do, and do with our computers and networks, they should be able to cite good reason.

Do *you* work for free?

And this is where your analogy breaks down. Because you are assuming already, that what is going on is work done for money. Under the current system, this is often true. Under a system where one cannot own knowldge, it is not (there, it is only a cultural exchange, done for enjoyment, etc.). It is really a matter of positive vs negative rights:

A painter has the absolute right to paint, and do with those paintings as he wishes. Sell, sell copies, whatever. Noone has any right to stop him try to make a living - he has a negative right to.
But, he does not have the positive right to be able to make money off it. If he cannot sell his originals for enough money, how is that a problem?

I cannot live off holding lectures in the street, but I am not asking to be subsidised with money or privileges.

Copyright is a privilege which increases the value of works, by stripping everyone else of the right to do something they otherwise would be allowed to. The artist (ie. record company) is given control over me, so they can sell me back that control piecemeal.

I do not work for free, but I do not ask that the worth of my work be increased by taking away other people's rights.

Re. the incentive system, then I am sorry if I misunderstood you. As an incentive system for creators, and not a natural right, copyright might have some justification. Not in its current form, and not with one type of copyright to rule over every vastly different type of work. I am pretty much in sync with Lessig on this one, albeit maybe a bit more radical... :-)

Now, looking back, I have been pretty unclear. What I meant was:

We should have a right to be the only one to make money off something. Not be the only one to decide who uses a given piece of information, but to commercialize it. This is why I responded, and what I originally meant by: "There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created - but neither is there a reason not to allow people to enjoy those goods."

The poster I responded to was pointing out something that looks hypocritical; that we do not want Sony to own music, but we want to own our photos. My "middle way" is that both Sony and me are allowed to own a "right to make money off a given piece of information". Only I can sell my picture to twitpic, only Sony can sell copies of the music they have the rights to. But I am free to listen to the radio, download, change and enjoy any music I want. This breaks down with a personal picture, though, because I think there are privacy and libel rights beside the ones we are talking about - but if I decide to share an artistic photo with the world, then that is my choice and the world then has a right to enjoy it as they want. They just do not have a right to make money off it.

As I said; information and enjoyment of same are non-scarce goods. There is no natural right to control their distribution. Money is scarce - there is good reason to control its distribution.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36116802)

True in one sense (which still makes them hypocrites).

What is often heard defended here is the freedom to use any information that is free, for personal enjoyment or helping others. I don't think I have seen anyone argue that you can make money directly off other people's information (in itself). There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created - but neither is there a reason not to allow people to enjoy those good.

Enjoyment of art, science, knowledge and any information is, just like the information itself, a non-scarce good.

That is illogical. If the information can be copied at no loss to the owner, why shouldn't you then make money off it? If the owner has the right to stop you making money off it, why shouldn't he also have the right not to let you copy it at all?

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36117728)

- "That is illogical. If the information can be copied at no loss to the owner, why shouldn't you then make money off it? If the owner has the right to stop you making money off it, why shouldn't he also have the right not to let you copy it at all?"

In a nutshell: Because the money that can be made from a given piece of information is not non-scarce like the information itself. There is a finite amount of money to be made, but an infinite amount of copies.
Hence; it is ok to make copies, not money.

If a given work can bring in 1,000$, who should have them? The guy who made it? Anyone? The guy with the printer? Noone is being deprived of anything that is in any sense of the word "theirs" (or costless) if we give it all to the creator. So lets do that. (Print shops will have to sell at-cost, or make a deal with the creator).

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36113998)

I was not aware that "Slashdot" was a monolithic entity with a single opinion. I was under the impression it was a vast number of people with varying opinions. Forgive me if this is a radical concept for you but maybe, just maybe, different sets of people are expressing those contradictory opinions that seem to have you so flummoxed.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (2)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36116228)

It all about profiting or not from somebody else's work.

While a lot of /.ers think nothing of pirating music for personal use, you'll be hard-pressed to find one that condones breaking other people's copyright for profit.

It is thus perfectly possible to hold a position on copyright where one defends the right of people to freely copy ANY data for personal, non-profit used while being against people or companies using copyrighted material for profit without the authorisation of the copyright owners.

And then there's also the issue of how long should copyright last: I for one see not problem with republishing 10 year old (or older) pictures, wether for profit or not, without having go through the overhead of copyright compliance.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

seanvaandering (604658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113010)

I suppose that is very much in line with music / movie downloaders telling artists that they should be happy that they're downloading because it helps spread the word. Or something.

More like the RIAA telling the artists that they should be happy because they made them a superstar, while they cash in on their fame.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113584)

Ah yes, the "it's only bad when someone else does it, but not when I do it" defense.

Re: Of course they sell - WENN news agency anyone? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119772)

I guess the "You said it is bad, now stop doing it" defense aplies better.

Re:Non-story (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112504)

A few months back I had photographed a subway fire here in Boston, and tweeted it. It showed up on a few news organization's websites, with proper attribution. It didn't occur to me to be outraged about it or anything, as it was a newsworthy photo. And if you're putting something up on Twitter it's not like you're intending to horde it. They used it well, in context of the story, and actually attributed it. Good on them.

The thing is, by partnering with certain organizations (aka getting paid), this implies that Twitpic now plans to stop others from doing this. I.E. by posting to Twitter via Twitpic, they now plan on stopping the dissemination of the photographs to people who don't pay. They're reducing the possible distribution of newsworthy images. Which to me, reduces my value of uploading it. Further, it adds situations where things aren't attributed, or are used entirely out of context (photos of my children being used to sell Viagra would be totally legal).

It's strange. This takes things from basically the situation an end user would want... Things intended to be disseminated get disseminated, while bad uses can be sued to be stopped... into one where the good uses are cut back and the bad uses are suddenly AOK.

Does anyone know which twitter clients use twitpic for hosting?

Re:Non-story (1, Insightful)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113338)

It should also be noted that the submitter calls him "newspaper photographer". It's out of his income if people post newsworthy images on twitter and newspapers use those instead, so it makes sense for him to rant about it and twist it.

Re:Non-story (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113644)

Nerds, gotta love their ability to logic. If something is "possible", it's treated as "inevitable". But somehow only for things that are bad.

TwitPic isn't going to sell your family pictures for use in a Viagra ad. If they did, people would actually have a reason to leave TwitPic, instead of the currently imaginary reason. On the other hand, right now someone can take your pictures to sell Viagra. At least this way TwitPic can better deal with such a misuse, and would in fact have a monetary incentive to do so.

Also, this helps TwitPic make money. Do you think you should get to use their service, and they shouldn't be allowed to make money in the process? If you don't like the terms, you can move on to someone else, but really, these terms don't seem bad for what you get.

Re:Non-story (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118106)

If something is "possible", it's treated as "inevitable". But somehow only for things that are bad.

Slight correction. If something is possible, it is inevitable. But only for things that are profitable to someone. Unfortunately, it seems easier and thus more widespread to profit by screwing others out of a piece of the pie rather than profiting by increasing the amount of pie available for everyone. I'm not saying that is happening here, this actually seems reasonable to me. But as a general rule, yeah, it's true much more often than not.

Re:Non-story (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115450)

(photos of my children being used to sell Viagra would be totally legal).

Probably not totally. Plus it'd be a little creepy, I think. Unless the ad went "Want to FUCK these KIDS? Well, with VIAGRA, you can!". (It wouldn't really solve the "creepy" part, but the "a little" bit would certainly not be applicable)

Re:Non-story (4, Insightful)

Rurik (113882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111414)

If they're securing the rights to do so, then they have plans to do so.

Re:Non-story (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123468)

Yes, and no. A large part of EULAs are what if, or rainy day scenarios. Some lawyer decides if they ever decide at some point to sell the images they may as well be ready for it. Facebook has had this in their terms of services for years yet there's no reports of people's photos being used yet either.

Re:Non-story (2)

VMaN (164134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111432)

If they are not planning to sell them, they shouldn't add the clause. PERIOD.

Re:Non-story (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111518)

They shouldn't add a clause that says they are partnering with people to prevent content from being taken without permission and misused? Why is that somehow a bad thing and how does that translate into them selling the pictures?

Re:Non-story (2)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111748)

You can infer it from the part about "distributing newsworthy content". They admit to their intention to distribute newsworthy content.

My next question: Would you expect them to distribute this material for free {at a loss}, or will they structure the content distribution in a way to minimize their losses?

Proof? Maybe not. Probable? Very much so.

Re:Non-story (4, Funny)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113050)

You know what, if you intent to sell your photos yourself and have full copyright on them, what about not uploading them all around the internet and giving them right to use them?

My personal TOS says that by sending files to my computer websites agree that I take sole ownership of said files. They all seem to agree since every time I get on the web, sites are constantly sending me files.

Well money is the root of all evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111364)

So obviouslt TwitPic is protecting users from that evil evil money!

Re:Well money is the root of all evil (2)

beschra (1424727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111778)

The actual statement is something like "the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil."

Who would want to buy (0)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111408)

a bunch a pictures of twits?

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Twitter is the worst name ever...

Re:Who would want to buy (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111486)

Make that pictures of twats, and you've got yourself a deal!

Re:Who would want to buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111506)

Then just call it TwatPic. Use it as a hook-up app or to sell porn.

Re:Who would want to buy (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111498)

/sheepishly raises hand. Oh wait I thought u meant something else.

Re:Who would want to buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111586)

a bunch a pictures of twits?

Yes, and here's the first one [photobucket.com] .

Re:Who would want to buy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36112038)

Here's another one [whitehouse.gov]

Re:Who would want to buy (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112146)

It's actually a good question. Most of the twitpics I've seen are terribly shot, blurry messes. I don't see where these would be of value to anyone unless they were making a "how to take bad pictures" textbook.

Re:Who would want to buy (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114048)

I'd ask myself the same thing, but apparently class photos and yearbook sales are booming!

And Twitter is a perfectly good name. It's an actual word for one thing, without a superfluous Z to be seen. Besides that, who hasn't heard someone say 'A little bird told me...'

What a stupid article. (2, Insightful)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111428)

Oh wait. It's not an article. It's an opinion piece. TwitPic will sell your photos? Where the fuck does it say that? You just made that up. This is FUD to the extreme. Who the fuck allowed this on the front page?

Re:What a stupid article. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111566)

It says it in the TOS... If they want to 'protect user content' from those 'organizations'. Twitpic should have sued those organization first, then may be settle with an agreement.

Re:What a stupid article. (1)

sirlatrom (1162081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111992)

Posted by timothy on Thursday May 12, @03:59PM from the click-no-to-agree dept.

It's in the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111440)

This means that Twitpic users can be called twits.

Re:It's in the name (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111872)

This means that Twitpic users can be called twits.
Wait a minute, Twitter uses are twits as well. How will we keep the two groups straight?

Industry standard practice (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111448)

Most sites that accept user content make them the property of the site (Slashdot being a notable exception). This includes CNN iReporter or whatever they call it where idiots give away valuable footage to CNN for free when they could make an easy 5 digits on it.

Re:Industry standard practice (5, Informative)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112204)

Most sites that accept user content make them the property of the site (Slashdot being a notable exception).

Not quite. Most sites that accept user content do so under terms that grant the site an irrevocable, perpetual, transferable and sublicensable right to reuse the material. A classic example of this is Amazon's Conditions of Use [amazon.com] , which state in part:

If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Amazon a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.

You retain the copyright, and may make additional grants to other parties, but you cannot revoke the grant you made to the initial site.

Re:Industry standard practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36113250)

transferable and sublicensable right to reuse the material.

You retain the copyright, and may make additional grants to other parties, but you cannot revoke the grant you made to the initial site.

Yes but that copyright is worthless if the "initial site", at their leisure, can transfer the right and moreover sub-license. Or in other words "sell and make money".

Re:Industry standard practice (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36116258)

It's not worthless, it just means that if you do try to sell your content you have a potential competitor. Well, that's business for you.

Really? (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111450)

So the gist of this guy's blog post is "If I take everything said in the press release and twist it till it screams, it sounds vaguely like they're trying to do something bad. OMG PANIC!!111!!!!one". I know it's popular to think that everything any corporation of any size does is evil, but do you think we could at least get bent out of shape by stuff that actually is happening, and is actually bad?

Re:Really? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111766)

Either they are putting this mechanism in place or not. If this sort of mechanism is in place or is planned then it should be a big fat red flag and all of the FUD mongers should be out in force with their tinfoil hats to shout these jerks down.

You're buying all those guns but you're not actually planning on using them.... suuuuure.

Re:Really? (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112114)

Seriously, who do these people providing free services think they are? They should just keep providing the free services and shut up and be thankful they get to give to us.

Re:Really? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112500)

It's one thing to splash advertising across the screen to fund free services. Less so, but somewhat understandable, is commodification of user data. But basically telling anyone who has a photo on your servers that "all your bases are us" seems to go beyond that to outright seizure of someone else's property based on a user agreement seems to cross a line somehow.

Re:Really? (1)

daktari (1983452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113476)

What bothers me about some of these "free" service providers is that they start out quite innocent: providing an appealing/worthy package that attracts a lot of initial interest and grows their user base fast. Further down the line, when use of these services has become ingrained into society and *users* have built an online community, bit by bit they start to change their TOS to the point where, unless the tin foil hat brigade flags them down, the TOS have become much less fair. I would respect their business model a lot more if they were to stick to the original TOS and not sneak in little nasties along the way...

Get your hands off my twits... (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111580)

... you *** twits!

Good for Mr. Everett (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111626)

TwitPic founder Noah Everett claims that the move has been made to protect users of the service.

He's doing it for the protection of the users of the service. Do you want the users to go on unprotected? As I said, good for Mr. Everett.

Re:Good for Mr. Everett (1)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111730)

Noah Everett will think of the children! Our hero has finally arrived! Rejoice!

Re:Good for Mr. Everett (1)

magusxxx (751600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111790)

"That's a clause to protect you, Winslow" - Swan from Phantom of the Paradise

Modded down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111762)

I agree, TOTALLY rip off article.

I commented on the article, but I expect it'll get denied before it makes it.

I posted the following word for word:

“If you grant distribution rights to TwitPic then your copyright is worthless.”

That’s a pretty limited view of copyright. There’s a lot more to original material then distribution rights, under the agreement they have drafted the users of the image will still have to credit the author, who retains ownership of the image.

Viewing Copyright as “nothing more then the ability to control who is allowed to see/hear/use/have content is pretty narrow minded. It’s that thinking alone that has destroyed the face of copyright globally, and prevented anyone from seeing value in distribution channels.

You have to look at it in a more general scope. Twitpic is providing a service to it’s users, which costs them money. People use the output of the service for many different tasks, and nowhere along the line does the service make any money. (aside from advertising deals, which as we’ve all seen can’t alone support a site forever)

Personally: I’d like to see how they approach the credit issue, how exactly they expect the people that wish to buy+redistribute the images taken will properly credit the authors.

BREAKING NEWS!!! (4, Insightful)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111876)

Seemingly altruistic social media site which performs a useful service to millions of users for free turns out to have business plan to profit from people's usage of the site, and does not in fact exist just to be free.

I'm disheartened to realize that there are still people who do not get this concept. Of course TwitPic is going to sell your photos and not cut you in on the deal. You agreed to it in the T&C. Even if it wasn't in the T&C, the clause of "oh hey we can change this at any time with no notice and you proactively agree to any changes" is probably in there. Why in the hell did you think they set up this service? Because they want to "connect people through social experiences"? Fuck no, they want to sell this shit to whomever will pay for it.

Same as Facebook. Same as LinkedIn. Same as every other site that does this for free.

You should just assume anything that you put online will be sold to the highest bidder and adjust your habits accordingly. If you don't what that photo of your dick to be on a porn site don't put it on TwitPic.

Re:BREAKING NEWS!!! (2)

SeximusMaximus (1207526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112042)

It seems like you are forgetting that they can already monitize the service, as most of these image services also force a page load, which means some sort of ad revenue. Your way is not the only way to make a buck...

business models (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112272)

Whatever happened to providing a useful service and having your clients pay you for it?

Re:business models (1)

SeximusMaximus (1207526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112404)

That still exists, but does not always make the best choice for certain industries. Would have Facebook become as popular had it been a pay service? It's hard to tell, but as a student during its start-up - I would venture to guess not.

Re:business models (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112518)

See how well you do with a for-pay webmail service.

Re:business models (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113490)

Have one included with my hosting package for $10 a month. Everybody complains that their data is all hosted on other peoples servers and that they don't own their own data. Yet most people could easily afford $10 a month for a good shared host (they can get as cheap as $4), and then we could all host our own apps and not worry about who owns our data.In my shared hosting, I can easily have a blog, webmail, news article sharing, photo sharing, and many other things. I think the only things that's missing is a social network app that will tie my shared host to my friends in a way that lets me control who I want to share the data with. Seems like something that needs to be done. Then we can all pay for standard servers that offer terms we are comfortable with, or even host our own servers on our own connection, and not have to worry about what all these third party services are doing with all our data.

Re:business models (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113722)

>>Whatever happened to providing a useful service and having your clients pay you for it?

As a Twitpic user, you are not a client, you are the sellable resource. Most companies we use online do not think of you as a client in their business plan; you are the valuable resource they sell to their actual clients, advertisers and data miners.

Re:business models (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115252)

Oh, that still exists. Except "client" is no longer synonymous with "user" in the online world. The client is the advertising provider. The service is the attention and browsing habits of your viewers. Your viewers play the incidental toys you've put online to capture that attention.

It's become more than a bit ridiculous - all the more so because no matter how illogical it is, companies are *succeeding* at turning a profit based on the business model I described above -- over and over again.

Re:BREAKING NEWS!!! (1)

flappedjack (1228928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112592)

It seems like you are forgetting that they can already monitize the service, as most of these image services also force a page load, which means some sort of ad revenue. Your way is not the only way to make a buck...

And you're forgetting that most (successful) companies like to have more than one revenue stream. Advertising is one stream; direct sales of content could be another. There may be good reasons for a company to ignore direct sales of content (e.g., because the user base is getting more and more pissed off at the very thought), but altruism sure ain't one of them.

Re:BREAKING NEWS!!! (1)

losthought (1393251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112550)

Or, in simpler terms: if you are using a free service then you are the product. The service itself is just there to entice the product (again, you ) to show up. This is not new. It is the exact same business model that has been used by television-based companies for decades.

Re:BREAKING NEWS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36113172)

So. . , what you're saying is that copyright is meaningless?

Guess what? You're wrong.

Unless TwitPic was very careful and up-front in their agreement forms, then they're going to get sued.

Why do so many people around here hate the populace so much and always side with exploitative companies? How brain damaged do people have to be to protect the very agencies which are working to bleed them?

Re:BREAKING NEWS!!! (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113678)

Schnapple would have me believe that I am taking advantage of a service which can get my photo out to a billion viewers who would not otherwise see my photo. If that were possible, what would happen if Google provided a service for desperate musicians or other artists to upload their content? And my point is... um... get an engineering degree. Because even if I refuse to provide the content to Twitpic, others may.

Re:BREAKING NEWS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36114264)

Actually I'm less worried about this and more worried about the fact that "I can be paying someone for a service and they'll STILL do this". Remember, in the business world there's always more profits if you're just a little more evil - why not make em pay and just screw em over anyway?

DropBox > We'll NEVER sell your data!!!
Joe > Okay, I'll just put these files here...
DropBox > Oh wait...actually we will!!! Sorry about that, TOS change and all.
DropBox > Oooh, this file looks interesting..."BankAccounts.doc"... wonder what I can get for it.

In a world where *everyone* screws you...you're gonna get screwed anyway. Get some Crisco, learn to enjoy it.

can someone help me out please (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113108)

i've gotten lost some place. does this mean that a free to use picture posting service is claiming equal copy right ownership to pictures that are freely uploaded which then provides the pictures as proprietary content to proprietary content providers so said proprietary content providers can add the pictures to their proprietary content in order to profit without the freely usable posting service giving equal profits to the originator of the originally free content?

Re:can someone help me out please (1)

GeodesicGnome (611692) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114182)

i've gotten lost some place. does this mean that a free to use picture posting service is claiming equal copy right ownership to pictures that are freely uploaded which then provides the pictures as proprietary content to proprietary content providers so said proprietary content providers can add the pictures to their proprietary content in order to profit without the freely usable posting service giving equal profits to the originator of the originally free content?

No. This sounds like the same kind of thing online companies have been doing just about forever to protect their sites from unscrupulous people who download in bulk and repost, or who take content from a site for republication for other purposes. They want to be able to protect their users by using copyright to go after people who misuse the posted images. That means it probably IS for the protection of their users. Otherwise every Twitter user would have to police their own content. It's in Twitter's best interest to make people feel safe about uploading content.

Re:can someone help me out please (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114972)

Yes, That's correct. And it's perfectly fine because nobody is forcing you to use that service to share pictures of your cat with your Aunt Sukey.

Rescind their license if really worried about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36113642)

If you're really worried about it, then delete every picture in your account you're worried about, and then send them a certified, return-receipt notice to their copyright agent:
Attention: Noah Winecoff
Twitpic Inc
7736 Farr St Suite 907
Charleston, SC 29492

In your notice, tell them that you are revoking any and all licenses to your photographs that were previously granted or implied for all pictures you have deleted (or for all pictures period) effective the date of the notice (or the date you deleted pictures). Include your username and identifying information for them to confirm the letter and match to the correct account. You might even go a step further and tell them you're taking this action due to their TOS change.

IANAL - but it seems the best way to deal with this is to revoke the license you granted them by uploading the pictures. Deleting the pictures makes them not "viewable" but revoking their license to your pictures on a specific date means any distribution, sales, or otherwise made AFTER that date would be in violation of copyright law. Of course, enforcing any violations would be another matter altogether unless you had deep pockets.

Re:Rescind their license if really worried about i (2)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114510)

Could be an issue. I can almost guarantee that the ToS explicitly says you grant them an "irrevocable worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free" license to the content. Key word bolded. They could sue you for breach of contract if you attempt to revoke their license without a material breach on their part first.

(Disclaimer, not a lawyer, but do read laws when bored or pissed off at businesses/the government).

The word "bollocks" comes to mind (1)

larwe (858929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114350)

Unfortunately no Twitter client I use allows me to use a custom picture-hosting service. This twitpic nonsense has forced me to read the TOS for the other offered options (yfrog, plixi - or rather lockerz - etc etc). Turns out that all these services suck similarly. I just want a f'n service that acknowledges that I have the sole ownership of my photos and the sole right to extract profit from them (not that I likely ever would). Guess I need to learn PHP so I can run my own hosting service now, and deal with the annoyances of trying to use it from Android without writing a custom app.

Re:The word "bollocks" comes to mind (2)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114892)

No, you just need an app to run on your pictures before you upload them that resizes them down to nearly unusable, and puts an obnoxious watermark with a copyright notice and contact information for viewers to purchase rights. Twitpic then has an irrevocable license to sell your advertising material.

misinterpretation and whining (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115240)

Oh look, a slashdot article about a blog post about a blog post about ToS changes at TwitPic.

Yes, the TOS gives the right to redistribute. If you did not assign those rights, wouldn't that basically mean that they couldn't host your content at all?

Outside of that (I could easily be wrong in my interpretation, IANAL): yes, it's technically possible that they can sell your content. . But here's the thing - check the TOS for almost any major "social" service that accepts user generated content and you will find the same thing: YOU own the copyright, but the service provider can do what he damn well pleases. Up to and including distributing your work.

he entirety of this statement from TwitPic is intended to stave off the growing hate campaign from users who don’t like the idea of their copyright being gobbled up

Actually it's to stave of kneejerk reactions such as yours (and the countless people who immediately forwarded this kind of crap to all their twitter followers) -- those who jump to conclusions based on an understanding of terms that's somehow even hazier than mine, without providing any basis in fact. Suck it up, quit whining. If you don't like it, feel free to find another service that doesn't want rights to redistribute your work. Since you likely won't be able to, you may want to look into starting your own.

Ah, well. I hope your crappy ill-informed blog post got you some nice ad revenue from making slashdot's front page. Where's my cut of that revenue, BTW? After all, I'm one of the users who visited your site, giving you some of my valuable time to read your drivel. (Think about that for a minute.)

Please define (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36115950)

you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it’s your content. Our terms state by uploading content to Twitpic you allow us to distribute that content on twitpic.com and our affiliated partners.

What is the practical difference between allowing someone to distribute content without any limitations and granting them copyright? Apart from the fact that I as the creator am still allowed to use the content, which I am anyway.

If you delete a photo or video from Twitpic, that content is no longer viewable.

So it will then only be available to the affiliated partners? TFA is right, the word "viewable" looks extremely weaselly here.

One more time... "If you are not paying for it, (1)

aqmxv (1469151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119778)

you're not the customer; you're the product being sold." -Andrew Lewis (metafilter:blue_beetle) It's in my quote file for a reason.
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